ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott expressed regret for referring to 9/11 during his 2019 training camp talk with his team on Thursday and said he “immediately apologized” to his players.
McDermott made the comments to “discuss the importance of communication and being on the same page with the team.” He said, “I regretted mentioning 9/11 in my message that day, and I immediately apologized to the team. 9/11 was not only a terrible event in our country’s history, but the day I lost a good family friend.”
as Originally Posted by Go Long, McDermott asked the players to come together in a speech, and used the terrorists on 9/11 as an example, asking the players in the room questions about how the attacks were executed, noting that the hijackers were getting on the same page. Several players who were on the team at the time confirmed the story to ESPN, while others who were there told ESPN they did not remember it.
When asked why he mentioned 9/11 and the hijackers as an example of a team coming together, McDermott said, “It references 9/11 in the context of a team meeting. The goal of a team meeting is important. Communication and being on the same page as a team.”
Speaking to the media at an unscheduled news conference after the exercise, which lasted about six minutes, McDermott said the meeting was about “awareness of a terrible event more than anything and a situation where, as I mentioned, I lost a family.” Friend, many family friends actually. That’s it.”
McDermott said at the 2019 meeting that a player felt like the coach hadn’t made his point clear enough and decided to reunite with the team to address it. Less than an hour after it happened at the start of practice, McDermott said he spoke to the team about it.
“I brought everyone together and said this is the goal, this is the intent, and I apologize if anyone feels a certain type of way that comes out of that meeting,” McDermott said. “If anyone misunderstood or misunderstood my message, I apologize. I didn’t do a good enough job of conveying the intent of my message clearly. That’s the importance of communication and getting everyone on the same page. , ironically enough. That was important to me then and now.”
McDermott said Thursday that he plans to address the team later, just as it did initially.
“As I mentioned to the team [in 2019] I’m sorry, I apologized, I didn’t do a good job of making my point clear,” McDermott said. “I’m going to do the same thing today when they’re done meeting, so if they’re anyone new, they understand how important this is to me and my family, because this is an important event in our history. , a terrible event.”
McDermott, 49, was hired as the Bills head coach in 2017. In June, contract extensions were announced for McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane through 2027.